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Court restrains Ayade from setting up caretaker committees for councils

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar   |   10 January 2017   |   2:29 am

Ben Ayade

Ben Ayade

A high Court in Calabar, Cross River State, has restrained the state government from setting up caretaker committees for the running of local councils.Tenure of 17 out of the 18 councils in the state had expired on December 18 last year and the state government asked the heads of administrations in the councils to take over affairs of the council. Tenure of Bakassi Local Council is still subsisting.

The court, presided over by the State Chief Judge, Justice Okoi Itam, yesterday issued the injunction restraining the governor and the state government from appointing caretaker committees to run the affairs of the councils.

In addition, the court also restrained the 17 heads of local government administration (HOLGAs) from performing the functions of democratically-elected chairmen in the said councils.

The court order followed a motion ex-parte with suit number HC/17/2017 instituted by the State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and 15 others against Governor Ayade, who recently directed that chairmen of local councils should hand over to their various heads of councils.

The state chapter of the APC challenged the directive, saying it was unconstitutional as there was no such provision for caretaker in the constitution.After hearing submissions by the counsel to the claimants, Chief Utum Eteng, on the interpretation of Section 7 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, Justice Itam issued the order stopping the governor and the government from setting up caretaker committees.Since it was an ex-parte, the court gave the state government 14 days to react to the order.


In this article:
Justice Okoi Itam


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